New solar install.... - Page 8 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-12-2011, 05:27 PM   #99
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
More Solar Panel Pictures

The first picture shows the thru hull fitting. This fitting is normally used on fiberglass boats. It is filled with Lexal.

The second picture is intended to show the thickness of the panel (really the thinness). That is my Scamp door key beside the edge of the panel. The edge can also be seen behind the thru hull fitting.
Attached Thumbnails
solar panel thru.jpg   Solar Panel thiness.jpg  

__________________

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2011, 08:19 PM   #100
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Watt meter

I decided to buy this interesting watt meter that can provide data on solar panel performance. This will allow me to compare the performance of my PWM Solar Controller with a MPPT Solar Controller when I buy finally buy one.

The website links to ebay where I purchased it.

Watt Meter tester test tool Measures Amps Watts voltage | eBay

The following PDF file is the manual for the device I purchased.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Watt Meter Manual[1].pdf (136.9 KB, 27 views)
__________________

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #101
Senior Member
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Name: jim
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape19 Prairie Schooner pulled by 2014 Dodge Ram Hemi Sport
Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,398
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
The first picture shows the thru hull fitting. This fitting is normally used on fiberglass boats. It is filled with Lexal.

The second picture is intended to show the thickness of the panel (really the thinness). That is my Scamp door key beside the edge of the panel. The edge can also be seen behind the thru hull fitting.
Norm,
Can you give us some more detail on the thru hull fitting, source and cost and how it works, thanks
__________________
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2011, 07:47 PM   #102
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Thru hull fitting

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Norm,
Can you give us some more detail on the thru hull fitting, source and cost and how it works, thanks
I have a second one and will take some pictures of it in the morning and get the manufacturer's name and post them on the site.

I bought one from West Marine that I didn't like and got a bag of different ones from a nephew who owned a marine electronics company.

It is very low profile, I'd say a 1/4 inch thick and about an 1.75 inches in diameter. The thru hole into the hull is 1 inch in diameter. It was designed for two coax cables, 180 degrees apart.

It is white plastic. I sprayed it with white gloss to protect it from the Sun.

The three screws are stainless and came with it. I feeled the space under the cap with Lexel, a non silicone caulking compound.

I will say we've had tons of rain and no leaks.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 07:58 AM   #103
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Thru hull fitting Information

The fitting is By Glomex, RA 140. You can see the cutout where the wires enter the fitting. I have four wires going into the single opening. At 180 degrees from the open position is a cutout, by design, that can be opened for additional wires or coax.

It's a British Company with an American Distributor. I think it's about $10. The fitting does come with three stainless steel screws.

Glomex - The best in Marine Antennas - GAMMA PRODOTTI

The adhesive I used is by Lexel, I used the clear type in a handy plastic tube. I also use it to replace rivet caps. Note it will not stick to silicon based products.

LexelŽ - The superior alternative to silicone.

Hope this helps
Attached Thumbnails
Connector1.jpg   Connector2.jpg  

Connector3.jpg  
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 02:47 PM   #104
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
PWM Solar Controller

I installed the PWM Solar Controller that I owned and bought a MPPT-15 Controller that I should have in a week. They are virtually identical in size so it will be easy to swap them out. With my new Watt meter I should be able to switch between the two and see the difference in power delivered to the battery between a standard Pulse Width Modulator (PWM) controller and the newer Maximum Power Point controller (MPPT).

I mounted it on top of our new over the couch closet, now loaded with a dozen of our sweaters and pullovers and a couple of dress outfits (I'm ready to go).

The controllers are very easy to install. From left to right on the controller: two wires from the solar panel(s) and two wires to the battery.

There are two pictures. The first shows the PWM controller. Note the first two light monitors the Solar Panel and the second monitors the battery. In the picture they are both green but actually the second one is blinking indicating the battery is fully charged. If the second light is not blinking but green, the battery is charging. If the second light is yellow, the battery is low.

The second picture shows the whole closet. Just below the left hand corner of the closet I installed a cigarette lighter outlet to allow us to power a small inverter or our small compressor.
Attached Thumbnails
Solar Controller PW.jpg   Solar Controller with output.jpg  

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 01:42 PM   #105
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
MPPT Solar Controller Test

I initially installed the PWM Solar Controller that I already owned and recently replaced it with a MPPT Solar Controller. From a far they both seem to do the job. The MPPT Controller was $25 or so.

I did notice that the MPPT Controller, while charging the battery, caused the LED lamps to brighten and dim as it pulsed the current. Really not too much of an issue because we're unlikely to be running the lights during the time that the controller's operational.

As well I received the watt meter to compare the operation of the two controllers. I choose a clear day and put the watt meter in the controller's output to the battery. I was looking to see if the current increased to the battery with the MPPT Solar controller. Maximum battery current was about 1.8 amps with the MPPT Controller and 1.3 amps with the PWM Controller. This was a rather significant difference.

The watt meter has the ability to store peak current during any time period. Of course some of the difference in peak current might be due to timing and lighting conditions. However it seemed to me that in watching current flow the MPPT Controller always produced higher readings.

To make sure the controllers were working at high capacity during the test I was drawing about 4 amps from the battery. I had one incandescent and 8 LEDs bulbs on. I hope to do a more thorough test when I get to a more southern climate and have a little more time. We leave next Wednesday.

As well the Scotch High Bond Exterior tape I used to hold the panels down seems to be working. First, we had 3 inches of wet snow the other day with no ill effects. Second, every day water condenses on the Scamps roof, frosting it with a thin layer of ice each night. It takes about half a day for it to evaporate. Again no ill effects. Third, The tape, because the panel is fastened to a curve surface, is continually under stress. Again there appears to be no ill effects, no signs of lifting or separating.

I have only driven the trailer a short distance since installation so I can not see that the panels will not be sucked off the roof at a later date but so far so good.
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 02:10 PM   #106
Senior Member
 
Bill Robison's Avatar
 
Name: B & N
Trailer: View
Michigan
Posts: 109
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
The fitting is By Glomex, RA 140. You can see the cutout where the wires enter the fitting. I have four wires going into the single opening. At 180 degrees from the open position is a cutout, by design, that can be opened for additional wires or coax.

It's a British Company with an American Distributor. I think it's about $10. The fitting does come with three stainless steel screws.

Glomex - The best in Marine Antennas - GAMMA PRODOTTI

The adhesive I used is by Lexel, I used the clear type in a handy plastic tube. I also use it to replace rivet caps. Note it will not stick to silicon based products.

LexelŽ - The superior alternative to silicone.

Hope this helps

Thanks Norm -

I like the looks of both of these products - I bookmarked for later reference - I still have a solar install ahead of me on our new RV.

I also like your new controller - why not get maximum charge from X amount of sunlight ;-)

Bill
__________________
'Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.' - - Ralph W Emerson
Bill Robison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #107
Senior Member
 
Name: George
Trailer: Waiting for the Sprinter van and designing the converion modules.
Oregon
Posts: 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I initially installed the PWM Solar Controller that I already owned and recently replaced it with a MPPT Solar Controller. From a far they both seem to do the job. The MPPT Controller was $25 or so.

I did notice that the MPPT Controller, while charging the battery, caused the LED lamps to brighten and dim as it pulsed the current. Really not too much of an issue because we're unlikely to be running the lights during the time that the controller's operational.

As well I received the watt meter to compare the operation of the two controllers. I choose a clear day and put the watt meter in the controller's output to the battery. I was looking to see if the current increased to the battery with the MPPT Solar controller. Maximum battery current was about 1.8 amps with the MPPT Controller and 1.3 amps with the PWM Controller. This was a rather significant difference.

The watt meter has the ability to store peak current during any time period. Of course some of the difference in peak current might be due to timing and lighting conditions. However it seemed to me that in watching current flow the MPPT Controller always produced higher readings.

To make sure the controllers were working at high capacity during the test I was drawing about 4 amps from the battery. I had one incandescent and 8 LEDs bulbs on. I hope to do a more thorough test when I get to a more southern climate and have a little more time. We leave next Wednesday.

As well the Scotch High Bond Exterior tape I used to hold the panels down seems to be working. First, we had 3 inches of wet snow the other day with no ill effects. Second, every day water condenses on the Scamps roof, frosting it with a thin layer of ice each night. It takes about half a day for it to evaporate. Again no ill effects. Third, The tape, because the panel is fastened to a curve surface, is continually under stress. Again there appears to be no ill effects, no signs of lifting or separating.

I have only driven the trailer a short distance since installation so I can not see that the panels will not be sucked off the roof at a later date but so far so good.
Great looking installation, congratulation. MPPT is 38.5% better than PWM, that is really good. I followed Morningstar recommendation to install a fuse between the charge controller and the batteries and used the breaker with integrated manual switch. When the trailer is in storage I disconnect the charge controller from the batteries.

George.
__________________
GeorgeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 07:42 AM   #108
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Fuse

Thanks George,

I did not install a fuse. I guess the purpose of the fuse is to prevent the battery from sending a current surge back thru the controller. Certainly no current surge from the controller could be a problem since the maximum from our panels is around 5 amps.

George, what size fuse did you use?

As to disconnecting for storage, we never have our trailer in storage and that's a good thing. We keep our trailer powered at all times when we're home and never put it into storage. Though we do most of our traveling from September thru May, we also travel occasionaly during the summer.

Thanks for your thoughts
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 11:58 AM   #109
Senior Member
 
Name: George
Trailer: Waiting for the Sprinter van and designing the converion modules.
Oregon
Posts: 629
Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Thanks George,

I did not install a fuse. I guess the purpose of the fuse is to prevent the battery from sending a current surge back thru the controller. Certainly no current surge from the controller could be a problem since the maximum from our panels is around 5 amps.

George, what size fuse did you use?

As to disconnecting for storage, we never have our trailer in storage and that's a good thing. We keep our trailer powered at all times when we're home and never put it into storage. Though we do most of our traveling from September thru May, we also travel occasionaly during the summer.

Thanks for your thoughts
Hi Norm,

The Morningstar manual called for 25A fuse. Rather high trigger amperage indicated that the breaker/fuse should most likely be protecting wiring in case of the controller meltdown. I couldn’t find a 25A surface mount switchable breaker and opted for a 40A one. My wiring is heavy enough to survive 40A short.

George.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details
http://www.delcity.net/store/Switchable-Mid!Range-Circuit-Breaker-!-32-V/p_742604.a_1
Attached Images
 
__________________
GeorgeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 08:26 AM   #110
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Solar Panel Test

This was our first drive with the Solar Panels taped to the roof. It only represents 1% of this year's trip. Both panels stayed firmly stuck to the roof.

We used Scotch Exterior High Bond Tape on all four edges of each panel. Neither temperature nor weather seemed to have any effect on the tape so far though we haven't seem particularly warm temperatures beyond the self generated temperatures of the panels.

Though I've already posted this picture I thought it was important to put in the Solar Install thread. It clearly shows how thin the solar panels are (two 40 watt panels).
Attached Thumbnails
Solar Panel Shake Down 2.jpg  
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #111
Senior Member
 
Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 316
I love those thin panels Norm! That is definitely the way to go. My guess is that heat, rather than cold will be the biggest challenge for the tape. It should take flexing in stride. The stuff you used is pretty amazing. I've used it before. Is there any possibilty of riveting the corners of those panals? I'd feel better having some mechanical attachment and someday I'd like to duplicate what you have done. It's the cleanest solar I have seen.
David
__________________
DavidSo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #112
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,300
Solar Panel Mounting

I've been reluctant to put additional holes thru the roof. On our last trailer we mounted traditional framed solar panels that weighed about 30 pounds each. They both leaked severely around the mounting points. I think the mass of the panels kept reopening the mounting point seals. Obviously the new panels are a lot lighter and wouldn't move, still ....

By the time we do half the trip we should be certain if this will be a permanent soultion. I'll keep people tuned in to the results.
__________________

__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Window AC install slbran Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 06-27-2011 07:25 PM
A new way to install AC Jacob S. Modifications, Alterations and Updates 12 02-21-2010 08:51 AM
What to install? Gwenn Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 08-23-2007 12:37 PM
A/C install Legacy Posts Modifications, Alterations and Updates 8 02-04-2006 06:27 AM
A/C install Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 8 12-15-2002 08:49 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.